Sunday, December 29, 2013

Observations from Charlotte 49ers' loss to Georgia Tech

Observations from Charlotte's 58-55 loss to Georgia Tech on Sunday:

-- There was question about why the 49ers gave Tech's Trae Golden so much room to shoot on his game-winning 3-pointer with 3.6 seconds left. Coach Alan Major said they didn't want Golden to drive to the basket or foul him -- and Golden was making just 24.3 percent of his 3-pointers coming into the game. So it was probably a sound strategy. Credit goes to Golden for making the shot, if Denzel Ingram might have been a bit late contesting it.

-- Second straight game that a 49ers guard has had an excellent shooting night. Ingram had a career-high 20 against the Yellow Jackets (on 8 of 10 shooting, 3 of 5 3-pointers), just a week after Ben Cherry did the same with a career-high 20 of his own. Cherry didn't score on 0-of-2 shooting against Georgia Tech, however.

-- As Conference USA season nears, the 49ers need to get center Mike Thorne's game back. Thorne has struggled since his big game at Appalachian State (26 points, 8 rebounds). Since then, he's had 4 points and 7 boards against Florida State, 4 points and 5 rebounds against USC Upstate and 3 points and 5 rebounds against Georgia Tech.

-- Pierria Henry was held out of the starting lineup for a second straight game, this time for returning late (by a few minutes, according to Major) from Christmas break.

-- Golden has played against the 49ers before. As a freshman at Tennessee, he played 13 minutes and scored one point in Charlotte's 49-48 victory against the Vols at Time Warner Cable Arena in 2010. He transferred to Georgia Tech this season.

-- One game remains for Charlotte before the C-USA schedule begins, Saturday at home against N.C.A&T (3-10).

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Observations from Charlotte 49ers' victory over USC Upstate

Observations from Charlotte's 81-76 victory against USC Upstate:

-- Pierria Henry and Willie Clayton didn't start as punishment for their ejections against Florida State (Denzel Ingram and Shawn Lester starting in their place). Although their absence didn't seem to matter -- the 49ers (8-3) jumped out to a quick lead -- Henry especially never seemed to adjust to not being out there at the start. Although he had eight assists, he missed the only shot he took and fouled out in 26 minutes.

-- USC Upstate got back into it with the excellent 3-point shooting from Torrey Craig and some tough interior play by 6-11 Michael Buchanan. The Spartans hung with the 49ers on the boards (trailing just 32-30) and allowed Charlotte just  nine second-chance points off 10 offensive rebounds for the game. The 49ers entered the game averaging 14.0 offensive boards.

-- This was Ben Cherry's coming-out party for the 49ers. He scored a career-high 20 on 6-of-8 3-point shooting. Upstate coach Eddie Payne admitted his team gave Cherry too much space to shoot (especially in the first half when Cherry was 4-of-5) and paid dearly for it. Remember when Cherry missed his first nine 3-pointers of the season? He's 22-of-34 since (64.7 percent).

-- As shaky as the 49ers were in the second half, this was a good one to win after the Florida State game. It gives them some confidence as they get ready for another ACC opponent in Georgia Tech on Dec. 29 at Halton. Yellow Jackets coach Brian Gregory knows the 49ers well: he coached against them at Dayton in the Atlantic 10 for years.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Observations from Florida State

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Observations from the 49ers' 106-62 loss to Florida State on Tuesday:

This was not a good moment for a program hoping to continue on an upward trajectory under fourth-year coach Alan Major. Not only was it the most lopsided defeat in the school's Division I history -- eclipsing a 42-point loss against Duke in 2009 -- but it came with the added indignity of having two players thrown out of the game (Pierria Henry receiving two technical fouls for taunting, Willie Clayton for a flagrant-2 foul).

On the basketball side, the 49ers might have been outmatched anyway by the bigger, more athletic Seminoles. But Charlotte clearly didn't come ready to play, which shouldn't happen in a game against a quality opponent such as FSU. After the Seminoles jumped to an early lead, the 49ers became "spooked," according to guard Ben Cherry.

Charlotte (7-3) has beaten teams from "power" conferences before under Major: Georgia Tech (the 49ers' opponent later this month), Tennessee, Kansas State and Michigan. They've also lost badly before (by 31 to Miami last season). But the Seminoles did everything better than the 49ers (rebounding, shooting, hustling, blocking shots), who were clearly not equipped to deal with all that, at least not on this night.

"It wasn't so much that we weren't physically tough," said Cherry. "We weren't mentally tough."

Henry and Clayton are both ultra-competitive and obviously frustrated at how the game had turned out. Major said their actions were "not excusable." Henry is normally cooler than what he exhibited. Clayton, who had several friends and family members from his home in nearby Thomasville, Ga., at the game, continues to get tangled up in these off-ball elbow-throwing incidents (as he did as a freshman last season).

These are the two players Charlotte needs most to move forward -- and to get back on a track that they might have slipped from Tuesday.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Observations from Charlotte 49ers' victory at Appalachian State

BOONE -- Observations from the 49ers' 77-59 victory Sunday over Appalachian State:

-- Charlotte gave a glimpse of what it's going to need to be successful this season: Contributions from its big men, all that Pierria Henry does and the spark from the bench that guard Shawn Lester provides.

Center Mike Thorne had a career-high 26 points and eight rebounds and power forward Willie Clayton had his seventh double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds), forming a combination down low that the Mountaineers had no chance of containing.

Henry, back from his injury that kept him out of the Davidson game, scored nine points, had seven assists, six steals and three rebounds.

Lester came off the bench to score 10 points, all during a first-half run that put the Mountaineers away. One basket came on a scoop layup that found its way from behind the backboard and around a defender. Another came on a catch-and-shoot 3-pointer off an inbounds pass.

-- Appalachian coach Jason Capel said that's all a tough combination.

"They're big, you start there," said of the 49ers. "I don't think Clayton can jump over a phone book, but he doesn't have to because he's going to hit you really hard all game. Pierria Henry controls the team, he's got a calming aura about him that exudes on the team. Lester and Terrence Williams are world-class athletes. When you've got big guys like that and one of the best point guards in the country, you've got a great team."

-- The victory evened Major's record at 51-51 in four-plus seasons at Charlotte.

-- Lester entered the game leading the team in scoring (15.0) and averaging 5.1 rebounds. Of his 41 total rebounds, just one was offensive. He pulled down one more offensive board against Appalachian (five total), making his total for the year 44 defensive, 2 offensive.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Observations from Davidson's 87-78 OT victory the Charlotte 49ers

Observations from Davidson's 87-78 overtime victory Wednesday over the 49ers:

-- No Pierria Henry for Charlotte, no De'Mon Brooks for Davidson -- it was a wash. Although Denzel Ingram played a turnover-free game, Henry's defensive presence was missed, as well as his ability to control things at crunch time, when the 49ers were often left with ill-advised long jumpers. Davidson didn't stand a chance on the boards without Brooks, and that's what happened with Charlotte outrebounding the Wildcats 42-30. Brooks would certainly have been able to bang with the 49ers' Willie Clayton (12 boards).

-- The 49ers knew of Davidson's ability to get to the basket, both off the dribble and by back-door cuts, but didn't do much about it until they went into a zone.

-- Davidson's Chris Czerapowicz had made six 3-pointers all season, and made four against the 49ers.

-- A guess is that Henry won't be back Sunday at Appalachian State, but would return for the Dec. 17 contest at Florida State.

-- Center Mike Thorne wasn't much of a factor, a testament to Davidson's swarming interior defense. He had four points on 1-of-6 shooting and seven rebounds.

-- First time Davidson's ever won at Halton. Wildcats coach Bob McKillop remembered some great games from the past, including a 49ers victory in which Charlotte's Leemire Goldwire and Davidson's Stephen Curry engaged in a 3-point extravaganza.

Bone bruise for Charlotte 49ers' Henry; out for Davidson game

Charlotte 49ers point guard Pierria Henry has a bone bruise on his left knee and won’t play Wednesday night against Davidson. His status for Sunday’s game at Appalachian State is uncertain.

Henry hurt his knee late in Sunday’s victory against UNC Asheville.

Henry had started 50 consecutive games and 12. points, 6.3 rebounds. He has 18 assistsnd 12. points, 6.3 rebounds. He has 18 steals and 41 assists.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Observations: Charlotte 49ers 77, UNC Asheville 56

Observations from the 49ers' 77-56 victory Sunday against UNC Asheville:

-- The victory came against the backdrop of the sight of point guard Pierria Henry being carried off the floor by teammates Willie Clayton and Shawn Lester after Henry banged knees with a Bulldogs player late in the game. Coach Alan Major wouldn't speculate on the nature or severity of the injury, except that Henry will see a doctor Monday morning.

-- The 49ers got some serious firepower out of their shooting guards, with Ben Cherry, Shawn Lester and Denzel Ingram going a combined 8-of-15 from 3-point range. Ingram (4 of 5, 14 points) provided the spark in the first half, Lester (2 of 5, 16 points) lit the fire in the second half. Cherry, who was 0 for 9 from behind the arc through Charlotte's first three games, is 11 of 17 since.

-- 49ers big men Clayton (12 points, 12 rebounds) and Mike Thorne (12, 9) got lots of compliments from UNC Asheville coach Nick McDevitt, who said they were as tough and athletic a pair as his team has played, and the Bulldogs have played Duke and Kentucky.

-- The game got off to a rough start for 49ers guard Terrence Williams. He said something that referee Ted Valentine didn't like and got a technical.

-- The 49ers had a relatively rare good night on turnovers-assists ratio (16 to 11). Before he left the game, Henry was struggling offensively (1 of 9 from the field, 2 points), but he had 7 rebounds, 8 assists and just 1 turnover). He didn't have a steal, which is a rarity, as well.

-- Wednesday's game with Davidson might be played without the teams' stars, depending on Henry's injury and the status of Wildcats forward De'Mon Brooks, who has missed the last two games with a knee injury.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Observations (from afar) on 49ers' victory against K-State

I'm not on the basketball trip to Puerto Rico (opting for Morehead State instead this weekend). But here are a few observations from television on the 49ers' 68-61 victory against Kansas State (the 49ers face Northeastern, a 63-56 winner against Georgetown) at 2:30 Friday:

-- The TV guys kept harping on it, and they were right: Charlotte's offensive rebounding did in the Wildcats. The 49ers outrebounded K-State 46-34, including 17-13 on the offensive end. Mike Thorne (16 points, 11 rebounds, five offensive) and Willie Clayton (10 points, 10 rebounds, six offensive) helped keep the ball alive after missed shots.

-- Even with Thorne and Clayton both fouled out, the 49ers held off the Wildcats in the final minutes. Denzel Ingram, playing for the first time this season, hit a huge 3 pointer right after Thorne fouled out to give the 49ers a six-point lead. Ingram's return was key and he also helped take a lot of the ball-handling pressure off Pierria Henry.

-- The 49ers were 6 of 7 from the free throw line in the final 37 seconds. Henry made all four of his. Henry's line: 10 points, nine assists, 7 rebounds, 1 block, 3 steals  -- and 8 turnovers.

-- Terrence Williams continues to struggle with his shot. He was 1 for 9 Thursday and is now shooting 22.7 for the season.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Charlotte 49ers fire volleyball coach Redding

Charlotte 49ers volleyball coach Chris Redding and his assistants have been fired, the school announced Monday afternoon.

Redding had a seven-season mark of 93-110 that included just one winning season (16-15 in 2010). The 49ers were 12-17 this past season, 2-12 in Conference USA.

Also released were assistant coaches Bethany Byers, Chad Esposito and Jay Correll.

Under Redding, the 49ers' volleyball program led the nation in two of the past four years in the Dig Pink cancer-awareness program. The 49ers were three-time recipients of the American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award under Redding.

Redding came to Charlotte from Florida, where he was an assistant. He was head coach at Appalachian State from 1999-2002.

Charlotte 49ers get 13th seed, first-round NCAA soccer tournament bye

The Charlotte 49ers received the No. 13 seed for the NCAA men's soccer tournament and will receive a first-round bye.

But a challenging second-round rematch potentially awaits: The 49ers will face the winner of Thursday's first-round game between East Tennessee State (9-5-4) and Coastal Carolina (17-4) on Sunday at Transamerica Field. The 49ers beat the Chanticleers 2-1 in September, but Coastal has gone on to win the Big South regular-season and tournament championships and was ranked 20th in Soccer America's poll last week.

Charlotte has won eight straight and won the Conference USA tournament championship Sunday with a 1-0 victory against Tulsa.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Charlotte 49ers football gets commitments from two DEs

As the 49ers basketball team awaits letters-of-intent from Keyshawn Woods and Torin Dorn during this early-signing period, the football team picked up two commitments on the defensive line this week.

Cam Darley is a 6-3, 223-pound defensive end from Manning, S.C., who will play in the Shrine Bowl. He chose the 49ers over Appalachian State, Charleston Southern, S.C. State and Presbyterian.

Zach Duncan, a 6-3, 220-pounder from East Forsyth, had previously committed to Ball State but changed his mind.

Here's an updated list of Charlotte 19 commitments to date:

Christian Asher, ATH, 6-1, 212, Woodberry Forest, Va.

Brooks Barden, QB, 6-3, 200, Cartersville, Ga.

Chris Brown, OL, 6-4, 280, Vance

Tristan Butcher, LB, 6-2, 230, Coweta, Okla.

Jordan Carswell, WR/DB, 6-4, 180, North Charleston, S.C., Stall

Jean-Luc Cerza Lanaux, OL, 6-8, 280, Charlotte Christian

Cam Darley, DE, 6-3, 223, Manning, S.C.

Markevis Davis, DB/LB, 6-2, 180, Asheville

Nathaniel Davis, OL, 6-3, 275, Ashburn, Va. Stone Bridge

Zach Duncan, DE, 6-3, 220, East Forsyth

Juwan Foggie, WR, 6-0, 206, High Point Central

Arthur Hart, K, 6-2, 190, Grafton, Wis.

Denzel Irvin, DB, 5-10, 165, Winter Garden, Fla.

 Workpeh Kofa, WR, 6-0, 194, Independence

Chris Montgomery, QB, 5-9, 158, Lawndale Burns

Mark Quattlebaum, WR, 5-11, 170, Cartersville, Ga.

 Maetron Thomas, RB, 5-8, 172, Stockbridge, Ga.

 Najee Tucker, DB, 6-2, 200, West Rowan

R.J. Tyler, TE, 6-4, 230, Wagener-Salley, S.C.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Observations: College of Charleston 83, Charlotte 82

CHARLESTON -- Observations from Charlotte's 83-82 loss to College of Charleston on Tuesday:

-- Even as the Cougars continued to hit 3-pointers, it appeared the 49ers were still in good shape with 15.8 seconds left when Charleston's Willis Hall made one of two free throws. That made the score Charlotte 82, Charleston 78.

To that point, the 49ers had made nine of 12 free throws down the stretch, which is often good enough to hold off the sternest comeback.

Then Charlotte got jittery, and that's what ultimately cost the 49ers.

Terrence Williams' inbounds pass was intercepted by Charleston's Joe Chealey, who promptly hit another 3, cutting the lead to one point. Then Pierria Henry missed a pair of free throws with 10 seconds left, setting the stage for the Cougars' Hall to hit the winning layup with 1.7 seconds left.

Forward Willie Clayton attributed the loss to mental mistakes, especially in Charlotte not recognizing whom of the Cougars' 3-point shooters to guard. Coach Alan Major mentioned the missed free throws and turnovers. It was a combination of all that, hard lessons for a young team to learn.

-- Clayton was dominant inside. After grabbing just five rebounds in the season opener against East Tennessee State, he had 13 (eight offensive) against Charleston, along with 19 points. Clayton said he struggled against ETSU because he was trying to figure out the new rules that prohibit hand checking on defense.

-- Henry scored 21 points, had six assists, five steals, two blocks and five rebounds, in addition to just two turnovers. But he was just seven-of-13 from the line, and his two costly late misses were in stark contrast to the eight he made in the final five seconds in last season's Atlantic 10 tournament against Richmond.

But Henry has a fan in Charleston coach Doug Wojcik.

"We may not see a better guard all season," said Wojcik. "He's in total command of his team. It seems like he can do whatever he wants whenever he wants."

-- Major played just seven players. The bench is short with guards Denzel Ingram (foot) and Ivan Benkovic (back) still out. Ingram hopes to be back next week, but Benkovic won't likely return until sometime in December. Henry (39 minutes) and Williams (35) will be ready for their return. Shawn Lester has had an impressive first two games, and had 14 points on five-of-seven shooting (two-of-three 3-pointers) against Charleston. One of them came at the buzzer at the end of the first half. But Ben Cherry, who is supposed to be shoring up Charlotte's long-range game, has missed all seven of his 3-pointers this season.

-- Charleston's Hall, he of the game-winning basket, is from Charlotte, played at Charlotte Christian and received his first college offer from the 49ers. He said he's friends with Cherry, who played at Myers Park High and began his college career down the street at The Citadel, and 49ers grad assistant Colby Lewis.

-- Charleston's Canyon Barry, who led the Cougars with 26 points, is the son of hall of famer Rick Barry, who was in the stands. Canyon shoots free throws underhanded like his dad, although he was only one of three Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Charlotte 49ers' Parker shares C-USA's Golden Boot award

Charlotte 49ers sophomore forward Kyle Parker was named co-winner of Conference USA's men's soccer Golden Boot Award, which goes to the top scorer in league play.

Parker, who scored seven goals against C-USA opponents, shares the award with Alabama-Birmingham's Alex Clay. Parker, from Marvin Ridge High, shared the league's overall goal-scoring lead with 11 with UAB's Freddie Ruiz.

Charlotte's Giuseppe Gentile and midfielder Aidan Kirkbride were Charlotte's representatives on the first team, with defender Thomas Allen making the second team and Parker making the third team. Midfielder Brandt Bronico and defender Luke Waechter were chosen to the all-freshman team.

New Mexico's Jeremy Fishbein was named the C-USA coach of the year Tuesday, with the Lobos' Kyle Ventner winning most valuable player and defender of the year honors. Old Dominion's Tim Hopkinson is the offensive player of the year, with New Mexico's Christopher Wehan the league's freshman of the year.

The C-USA tournament begins Wednesday at Charlotte's Transamerica Field, with the sixth-seed 49ers playing No. 3 UAB at 8 p.m.

Wednesday’s quarterfinals

No. 4 South Carolina (7-6-5, 4-2-3) vs. No. 5 Tulsa (9-5-3, 4-3-2), 3 p.m.; No. 2 Old Dominion (10-4-1, 7-2) vs. No. 7 Kentucky (6-9-3, 3-4-2), 5:30 p.m.; No. 6 Charlotte (9-5-3, 4-3-2) vs. No. 3 Ala.-Birmingham (12-4-1, 5-3-1), 8 p.m.

Friday’s semifinals

South Carolina-Tulsa winner vs. No. 1 New Mexico (11-4-2, 7-1-1), 5 p.m.; ODU-Kentucky winner vs. Charlotte-UAB winner, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday’s final, 1:30 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)

All-Conference USA First Team
F: Guiseppe Gentile, Charlotte 
F: Tim Hokinson, Old Dominion
F: Cristian Mata, Tulsa
F: Freddy Ruiz, UAB
MF: Aidan Kirkbride, Charlotte
MF: Ben McKendry, New Mexico
MF: Michael Calderon, New Mexico
MF: Omar Mata, Tulsa
D: Kyle Venter, New Mexico
D: Jason Gaylord, Old Dominion
D: Mahamoudou Kaba, South Carolina
GK: Callum Irving, Kentucky
All-Conference USA Second Team

F: Quentin Albrecht, FIU 
F: Diego Navarette, UAB 
MF: Gonzalo Frechilla, FIU 
MF: Brad Doliner, Kentucky 
MF: Akeil Barrett, Tulsa
MF: Alex Clay, UAB
D: Thomas Allen, Charlotte 
D: Steven Perinovic, Kentucky
D: Mathew Gibbons, New Mexico
D: Braeden Troyer, South Carolina
GK: Sean Stowe, Old Dominion
All-Conference USA Third Team
F: Kyle Parker, Charlotte
F: Ryan Price, Florida Atlantic 
F: James Rogers, New Mexico 
MF: Zach Hunter, Marshall
MF: Michael Kafari, New Mexico
MF: Tony Rocha, Tulsa
D: Travis Brent, Marshall
D: Bradley Bourgeois, Tulsa
D: Darion Copeland, UAB
GK: Michael Lisch, New Mexico
GK: Raphael Ville, UAB
Conference USA All-Freshman Team
Brandt Bronico, MF, Charlotte 
Luke Waechter, D, Charlotte
Marvin Hezel, MF, FIU
Napo Matsoso, MF, Kentucky
Christopher Wehan, MF, New Mexico
Niko Hansen, F, New Mexico
Jesse Miralrio, F, Old Dominion
Cole Stringer, MF, Old Dominion
Kurtis Turner, MF, South Carolina
Marco Velez, GK, South Carolina
Quinton Duncan, D, Tulsa
Jake McGuire, GK, Tulsa
Rami Dajani, F, UAB

Friday, November 8, 2013

Observations: Charlotte 49ers 80, ETSU 75

Observations from Charlotte's 80-75 season-opening victory against East Tennessee State:

-- It's only one game and it was against less-than formidable competition, but center Mike Thorne can answer a lot of questions about this team if he can consistently play as he did Friday (17 points, nine rebounds, both career highs). Thorne never strayed far from the basket (as he shouldn't) and was eight-for-10 from the field on a variety of moves. He said he shot 100 hook shots a day last summer and it showed.

-- Newcomers Shawn Lester (10 points, nine rebounds) and Marcus Bryan (nine points, four rebounds) had impressive debuts. Lester, a guard from Mooresville High who was academically ineligible last season, is an athletic presence who also added four assists. Transfer Ben Cherry missed all five of his 3-pointers, not the kind of debut he had in mind.

-- Guard Terrence Williams' shooting problems from last season are apparently carrying over. He was just two-of-12, although he made an important 3-pointer in the second half as the shot clock expired. Forward Willie Clayton wasn't much of a factor, scoring eight points and grabbing five rebounds before fouling out.

-- Point guard Pierria Henry said the new stricter rules against hand-checking aren't a concern to him. Henry, who had five steals and created his usual defensive havoc before sewing up the game with four free throws in the final 5.5 seconds, said he's always been taught to play defense with his feet, so why would rules restricting what you can do with your hands bother him?

-- The 49ers, who were worried about their front court, outrebounded the Bucs 45-35. The 49ers, who hope to be a better perimeter shooting team this season, were two-of-17 from behind the 3-point arc.

-- Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard, who scored 31 for ETSU, had a previous career high of 16.

-- Don't expect to see guards Denzel Ingram (foot) and Ivan Benkovic (back) back until the Puerto Rico tournament in two weeks, at the earliest.

-- East Tennessee is starting football in 2015 after it returns to the Southern Conference. The Bucs' coach is Carl Torbush, a former coach at North Carolina.


Men's basketall game day: Charlotte 49ers vs. East Tennessee State

7:30 p.m., Halton Arena

The 49ers play their season opener against the Bucs and are coming off a a 21-12 season and their first postseason appearance (NIT) since 2008 ... Charlotte will be without injured guards Denzel Ingram (foot) and Ivan Benkovic (back) ... Two newcomers who figure to make an impact for Charlotte are guards Ben Cherry and Shawn Lester ... The Bucs have three starters back from last season’s 10-22 squad, including forward Lester Wilson, who averaged 13.4 point and 5.3 rebounds ... Freshman guard A.J. Merriweather scored 27 points in an exhibition victory last week against Milligan (Tenn.) ... The last time these two teams played didn’t go too well for the 49ers, with East Tennessee winning 70-69 on a buzzer beater early in the 2011-12 season ... The 49ers women open at 5 p.m. against Liberty ... Charlotte is coming off a 26-6 season that included a WNIT appearance, the 49ers' 11th consecutive postseason appearance.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Charlotte 49ers' Williams, Lester won't be suspended

-- 49ers basketball guards Terrence Williams and Shawn Lester won't face game suspensions for their arrests last summer for second-degree trespassing.

Charlotte coach Alan Major has already disciplined Williams and Lester in other, undisclosed ways, spokesman Brent Stastny said. The 49ers open their season Friday at Halton Arena against East Tennessee State.

Williams and Lester were arrested in August in Charlotte on second-degree trespassing charges. Second-degree trespassing is defined as an unauthorized person knowingly entering a premises without the intent to commit a crime.

Their October court dates were continued to February.

-- Charlotte forward Amanda Jones and defender Monica Trickett were named to the all-Conference USA women's soccer second team and defender Nicole Anderson made the all-freshman team. Jones leads the 49ers with eight goals and 11 assists. Trickett and Anderson have helped the 49ers to eight shutouts this season and a cumulative 1.06 goals-against average.

The 49ers, the top seed from the East Division, have a first-round bye in the league tournament which begins Monday afternoon in Houston. The 49ers will play the winner of Monday's game between Marshall (the East's fifth seed) and Rice (West No. 4) at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

-- Nov. 15 shapes up as a busy day at Charlotte. The Conference USA men's soccer tournament semifinals are scheduled for that day, as is a 4 p.m. men's basketball game against Elon and a volleyball match against Southern Mississippi at 7 p.m.

If the 49ers are in the soccer semifinals, they'll play at 7:30 p.m., avoiding a conflict with the basketball game. The volleyball game, which is also senior night, was scheduled before the basketball game was scheduled, forcing the early 4 p.m. start.   

Friday, November 1, 2013

Basketball teams in exhibitions Saturday

-- The 49ers men's and women's basketball teams get their final preseason tune-ups Saturday with exhibitions against Division II opposition at Halton Arena.

The women play Johnson C. Smith at 2 p.m., followed by a men's exhibition against Wingate at 4:30.

The Golden Bulls were 8-18 last season under first-year coach Steven Joyner Jr. and are picked to finish fourth in the CIAA's Southern Division this season.

Wingate, 22-9 last season, has won the past two South Atlantic Conference tournament championships and is picked to finish fourth in the league this season.

Both teams open their regular seasons next Friday at Halton, the women against Liberty at 5 p.m., the men against East Tennessee State at 7:30.

-- It's Senior Night on Saturday for Charlotte's men's soccer team, which goes against Conference USA foe Marshall at 7 p.m. at Transamerica Field. Seniors Klay Davis, Will Mayhew, Anthony Perez, Thomas Allen, Aidan Kirkbride and Chase Johnson will all be honored. The 49ers have won three in a row, including a 6-0 victory at Florida Atlantic on Wednesday.

Mayhew, who hurt his shoulder against FAU, won't play against the Thundering Herd.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

49ers basketball 3 weeks into practice

The 49ers completed their 21st day of preseason men’s basketball practice Tuesday. A few notes and observations after coach Alan Major met with the media:

-- Sounds like the 49ers will be without guards Denzel Ingram (foot) and Ivan Benkovic (back) for the season opener Nov. 8 against East Tennessee State. Major hopes they’ll be back by mid-November or earlier, which means they could also miss the College of Charleston game Nov. 12. The 49ers also play Elon on Nov. 15 before heading to a tournament in Puerto Rico Nov. 21-24.

-- Major hopes this 49ers team will be more potent from the 3-point line than last season, when Charlotte made just 26.8 percent of its long-range shots. Ivan Benkovic became a threat from behind the line late in the season, making 40.4 of his 3-pointers. There’s also the addition of transfer Ben Cherry (a 50 percent 3-point shooter at Tulane last season) and sophomore Shawn Lester (academically ineligible last season), as well as anticipated improvement from Ingram (27.9 percent).

-- Inexperience in the front court will be the 49ers’ biggest question mark. Either sophomore Mike Thorne or true freshman Marcus Bryan could start alongside Willie Clayton, coming off an all-Atlantic 10 rookie team season.

"We’ve got a chance to get contributions from different guys,” said Major. “They key is the younger they are and the more clock/game time they get, that’ll let the game teach them. Us coaching them and video is one thing, but getting in the game is key.”

Monday, October 28, 2013

C-USA announces 9-bowl lineup

Conference USA made official its nine football bowl affiliations through the 2019 season on Monday.

The Charlotte 49ers begin play in the Football Bowl Subdivision's C-USA in 2015 and will be bowl eligible in 2016.

The league's new bowls are the Bahamas Bowl, Miami Beach Bowl an the Boca Raton Bowl. C-USA already has agreements with the Beef O'Brady Bowl (St. Petersburg, Fla.), the Heart of Dallas Bowl, the New Mexico Bowl and the Hawaii Bowl. The league has secondary agreements with the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (Fort Worth, Texas) and the AdvoCare V100 Bowl in Shreveport, La.

"Our future bowl line-up is truly amazing,” C-USA commissioner Britton Banowsky said in a statement. “We have been fortunate to partner with great bowls in the past. In addition to the bowls within our members’ footprint, fans also have some tremendous destinations to see their favorite teams play.”

C-USA teams will face opposition from the American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Mid-American, Mountain West and Sun Belt conferences.

Here's a look at each bowl (thanks to the league office):

The Bahamas Bowl will join the bowl line-up in 2014 as the only postseason college football game outside of the United States. The inaugural game will be held in the new Thomas A. Robinson Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas. Conference USA expects to face a team from the Mid-American Conference in 2015, the American Athletic Conference in 2018 and the Sun Belt Conference in 2019.

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl began in 2008 and has had a Conference USA participant since its inception, and has been victorious the past two seasons. This bowl is owned and operated by ESPN and held prior to Christmas each year at Tropicana Field, the home of the Tampa Bay Rays. C-USA will meet a team from the American Athletic Conference a minimum of three years.

The Boca Raton Bowl will be played in FAU Stadium on the campus of C-USA member Florida Atlantic University. It is the newest bowl announced that will be run by ESPN. The league will send a team to a minimum of four Boca Raton Bowls, beginning in 2014 against the Mid-American Conference. C-USA will face a member of the American Athletic Conference in later years.

Conference USA will enter its first-year as a primary partner with the Gildan New Mexico Bowl and will send a team to Albuquerque all six years between 2014 and 2019. C-USA will face a representative from the Mountain West Conference each season at University Stadium on the campus of the University of New Mexico.

The Heart of Dallas Bowl presented by PlainsCapital Bank was established in 2012 with the unique
perspective of creating an event that will give back to its community. The Heart of Dallas is a non-profit dedicated to supporting causes in the Dallas area, using sports and entertainment as a vehicle to help gain awareness. Conference USA expects to play in the bowl six years and will alternate opponents from the Big Ten and Big 12 as teams meet in the historic Cotton Bowl Stadium.

The Miami Beach Bowl will also host its first game during the 2014 season, with Conference USA expected to face a team from the American Athletic Conference in 2014 and 2015. The American will own and operate the Miami Beach Bowl, which will be held at Marlins Park – the home of Major League Baseball’s Miami Marlins. Marlins Park is located on the former site of the historic Orange Bowl Stadium in Miami. Conference USA will play in the bowl a minimum of three years.

The R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl has hosted a Conference USA team nine times during its 12-year history, with a current C-USA team winning six of those 12 bowls. The game will continue to be played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. C-USA is scheduled to be involved in three games over the next six years.

C-USA also resumes its long-term partnership with the Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl to play in the annual
Christmas Eve game. A C-USA team has participated in, and won, the last four games in Honolulu. Following a 2013 meeting with a Mountain West team, the two conferences will square off again at Aloha Stadium in 2014, 2016 and 2018.

Conference USA enters a new secondary partnership with the AdvoCare V100 Bowl, played at
Independence Stadium in Shreveport, La. C-USA will provide a surplus team to the bowl in the event the Southeastern Conference or Atlantic Coast Conference are unable to provide a team.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Final: Charleston Southern 36, Charlotte 14

CHARLESTON -- Charleston Southern unleashed a brutal running game on Saturday and wore down the Charlotte 49ers on the way to a 36-14 victory at Buccaneers Field.

The Bucs (8-1), ranked 24th in the FCS coaches poll, gained 375 on the ground, led by Christian Reyes, who had 181 yards on 26 carries.

The 49ers (4-4) trailed 21-14 early in the fourth quarter, and appeared to get a break when they recover a Bucs fumble at the Charlotte 3. But 49ers running back Alan Barnwell was tackled in the end zone for a safety, and although the 49ers' Damarrell Alexander recovered the ensuing free kick, the momentum had fully shifted to Charleston Southern.

The 49ers turned the ball over twice later in the fourth quarter on an interception thrown by quarterback Matt Johnson and a fumble by Barnwell. Both turnovers led to Charleston Southern touchdowns.

Johnson was Charlotte's leading rusher with 47 yards on 13 carries. He also complete 16 of 31 passes for 183 yards, but no touchdowns. Trent Bostick caught five passes for 114 yards and Austin Duke caught six for 57 yards.

The 49ers return to the coast next week with a game against sixth-ranked Coastal Carolina.

3rd quarter update: Charleston Southern 21, Charlotte 14

Charleston Southern is threatening on the Charlotte 1 as the third quarter ends with the Bucs leading 21-14.

Charleston Southern scored on the opening drive of the second half, going 58 yards on 10 plays and getting a 14-yard scoring pass from Daniel Croghan to Chris Theodore.

The 49ers answered when freshman Khalif Phillips scored on a 14-yard run.

Halftime update: Charleston Southern 15, Charlotte 49ers 7

Charleston Southern scored twice in the second quarter to take a 15-7 lead at halftime.

The Bucs got a 3-yard run from quarterback Kyle Copeland and a 39-yard pass from Daniel Croghan to go ahead. Copeland scored on a two-point conversion after his touchdown.

The Buccaneers' Christian Reyes has 125 yards rushing at halftime and CSU has outgained the 49erss 302-170 in total yardage. But a fumble and two missed field goals by the Bucs' Mark Deboy have helped keep it close for Charlotte.

Trent Bostick has four catches for 88 yards for Charlotte, while Austin Duke has four receptions for 48 yards.

The 49ers have struggle with their run game, with quarterback Matt Johnson rushing eight times for 20 yards.

1st quarter update: Charlotte 49ers 7, Charleston Southern 0

The 49ers lead Charleston Southern 7-0 after the first quarter.

Charlotte got a 7-yard touchdown run from true freshman Khalif Phillips. The touchdown was set up by an option pass after Corey Nesmith took a pass from quarterback Matt Johnson and Trent Bostick on a 39-yar pass behind the Buccaneers defense.

Charlotte was helped by two missed field goals by the Bucs' Mark Deboy, who was wide left on attempts from 35 and 29 yards.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Charlotte 49ers host No. 23 Clemson in men's soccer

The 49ers men's soccer team gets a crack at a nationally ranked ACC opponent Tuesday when Clemson comes to Transamerica Field.

Gametime is 7 p.m. against the Tigers (9-3-2),  ranked 23rd in Soccer America's poll this week.

The 49ers (5-5-3) are coming off a 1-0 Conference USA victory against Kentucky on Saturday. Giuseppe Gentile (5 goals, 2 assists) and Kyle Parker (4 goals, 2 assists) lead Charlotte.

The Tigers, who beat Pittsburgh 2-0 last Friday, are led by Thomas McNamara, who is third in the ACC with seven goals.

Clemson leads the overall series 9-4-3. Charlotte won the last meeting 3-1 in 2011 at Clemson.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Charlotte 49ers news, notes

Some 49ers news and notes on a football bye weekend:

-- The 49ers' two major preseason basketball events are set for Halton Arena. Fan Day is scheduled for Saturday at 3 p.m., with Basketball Madness next Thursday (Oct. 24)

Fan day will include scrimmages by the 49ers men's and women's teams. There will also be autographs and a free youth clinic for kids from kindergarten through sixth grade.

Basketball Madness, which starts at 9 p.m., will include team intros, a slam dunk contest among other things. Garrett Bedenbaugh, a Charlotte alum and TV meteorologist in Columbia, will be the emcee.

-- Charlotte's volleyball team plays its annual Dig Pink match Friday at 7 p.m. against Tulsa. The 49ers, who have led the nation in fund raising for the breast cancer awareness organization, raised more than $2,000 on Wednesday in their "Jail and Bail" fundraiser.

-- The 49ers men's soccer team will wear gold jerseys in honor of the fight against childhood cancer for Saturday's game against Kentucky at Transamerica Field. The jerseys will be auctioned off during the game, with proceeds going to the  Levine's Children's Hospital.

The 49ers (4-5-3, 0-3-2), in ninth place in Conference USA with two points, have four more league games to climb out of ninth place in Conference USA and into the top seven, which would qualify them for the league tournament at Transamerica Field.

-- Charlotte's women's soccer team plays three straight home games, beginning with a Conference USA contest Friday against UAB. Charlotte (7-5-2, 2-2-2) and the Blazers (9-4-1, 2-2-1) trail Florida International (7-6, 3-2) in the Eastern Conference standings. The 49ers are host to Marshall on Oct. 25 and Florida Atlantic on Oct. 27 before finishing the regular season at Old Dominion on Oct. 31.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Final: UNC Pembroke 45, Charlotte 49ers 22

There would be no fourth-quarter magic Saturday at Richardson Stadium.

One week after completing an unlikely comeback against Gardner-Webb, the Charlotte 49ers fell 45-22 to UNC Pembroke, the nation’s 14th-ranked Division II team, Saturday before a homecoming crowd of 16,630.

The 49ers (4-3) were beaten soundly in every phase of the game against the Braves (5-0).

This time, Charlotte fell behind by 28-8 at halftime. At the end of the third quarter, it was 38-15 and UNC Pembroke wouldn’t let up.

The 49ers might have had a brief flicker of hope early in the fourth quarter, after they had cut the Braves lead to 38-15 on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Matt Johnson to C.J. Crawford.

But when Mikel Hunter fumbled a punt on UNC Pembroke’s next possession, any hopes of a potential comeback were extinguished.

Braves quarterback Luke Charles, the school’s all-time leading passer, picked apart the 49ers defense, completing 43 of 57 passes for 403 yards and three touchdowns.

Many of Charles’ passes were thrown underneath the 49ers defense, a tactic Charlotte never adjusted to. And when the 49ers would bite on those short routes, Charles made them pay, as he did when he found Te’Vell Williams on a 56-yard scoring play in the third quarter.




3rd quarter update: UNC Pembroke 38, Charlotte 49ers 15

UNC Pembroke extended its lead to 38-15 after three periods, but the 49ers got a sign of life with a touchdown late in the quarter that cut the Braves lead to 38-15.

The Braves, who led 21-8 at halftime, got a touchdown on their first possession of the second half when Elliott Powell scored on a 5-yard run. UNC Pembroke then got a big play -- a 56-yard touchdown pass from Charles to Te'Vell Williams that made it 35-8. Pembroke then got three more points on a 46-yard field goal by Connor Haskins to increase the lead to 38-8.

The 49ers made it 38-15 on a 4-yard TD pass from Matt Johnson to H back C.J. Crawford with 2:01 left in the quarter.

Halftime: UNC Pembroke 21, Charlotte 49ers 8

UNC Pembroke extended its lead to 21-8 at halftime, with the Braves scoring on a 23-yard pass from quarterback Luke Charles to John Rich with 6:34 left in the second quarter.

The 49ers couldn't generate much offense and special-team problems also became a factor. A 38-yard field goal attempt by Blake Brewer partially blocked by the Braves. Then, when Charlotte had a chance to get the ball back late in the half on a Braves punt, a roughing the kicker call on Justin Bridges-Thompson allowed UNC Pembroke the maintain possession.

UNC Pembroke has 254 yards in total offense, with Charles completing 24 of 32 passes for 198 yards and a TD. The 49ers have gained 188 yards, with QB Matt Johnson completing 15 of 24 for 149 yards and a TD. The 49ers have generated just 39 yards on the ground.

The Braves, whose short-passing game is giving the 49ers all kinds of problems, have dominated time of possession, 19:02 to 10:58.

1st quarter: UNC Pembroke 14, Charlotte 49ers 8

UNC Pembroke, getting two 2-yard touchdown runs from Rontonio Stanley, leads the Charlotte 49ers 14-8 at the end of the first quarter.

The Braves scored on their first two possessions before punting on their third.

Charlotte briefly went ahead when Matt Johnson hit Mikel Hunter on a 2-yard TD pass with 8:26 left in the quarter. The 49ers faked the extra point kick, with holder Lee McNeill going on for two-point conversion.

The 49ers were deep in Braves territory late in the quarter, but Johnson was intercepted by L.J. Stroman in the end zone.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Charlotte 49ers at Coastal football game to be televised

The 49ers' football game at Coastal Carolina on Nov. 2 will be televised by WCCB (channel 18).

WCCB has been showing all 49ers home games. The Coastal game (with a 3 p.m. kickoff) will also be televised on WFXB in Florence-Myrtle Beach and WOLO in Columbia.

This will be the seventh game to be televised by WCCB (in addition to one on ESPN3 at Presbyterian). The 49ers have averaged a 2.9 household rating on WCCB, with an average audience of more than 33,000 homes.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Charlotte 49ers-ODU soccer on TV

The 49ers men's soccer match Wednesday against Conference USA foe Old Dominion at Transamerica Field will be on Fox Sports South at 7 p.m.

Charlotte (4-3-3, 0-2-1) has gotten off to a rough start in league play, tying New Mexico 0-0 in double-overtime tie last Friday. The Monarchs (4-3-1, 1-1), falling to Kentucky 2-1 on Friday.

Player to watch for ODU is senior striker Tim Hopkinson, who had six goals and an assist. Charlotte senior goalkeeper Klay Davis is the defensive player of the week in C-USA after allowing one goal in ties against Wake Forest (1-1) and New Mexico (0-0). The shutout against the Lobos was the fourth of the season for Davis and the 24th of his career.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Charlotte 49ers picked 4th in C-USA preseason women's basketball poll

The Charlotte 49ers have been picked to finish fourth in the Conference USA's preseason women's basketball poll.

Charlotte, one of 12 Division I programs to have played in the postseason in each of the past 12 seasons, got one first-place vote. Another conference newcomer, Middle Tennessee State, was chosen to win the league, with Texas-El Paso picked second and Tulane third.

The 49ers didn't have a player chosen to the preseason all-conference team.

Charlotte opens its season Nov. 8 against Liberty at Halton Arena.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Final: Charlotte 49ers 53, Gardner-Webb 51

The Charlotte 49ers scored 29 unanswered points in the second half, rallying to beat 25th-ranked  Gardner-Webb 53-51 at Richardson Stadium.

Gardner-Webb (4-2) led 45-24 at the end of the third quarter before the 49ers (4-2) rallied.

Charlotte took its first lead when quarterback Matt Johnson hit true freshman Trent Bostick on a 48-yard touchdown pass with 3:15 left. That put the 49ers up 46-45. After a Gardner-Webb fumble, the 49ers' Alan Barnwell scored on a 56-yard run, giving what would eventually be the points with 2:19 left.

The Bulldogs came right back, scoring on a 1-yard run by Juanne Blount with 31 seconds left, making it 53-51. But a two-point conversion pass by quarterback Lucas Beatty fell incomplete and the 49ers had their come-from-behind victory.

3rd quarter: GW 45, Charlotte 21

Gardner-Webb has scored three unanswered touchdowns in the third quarter and leads 45-21.

The Bulldogs drove 75 yards on their first possession, scoring on a 2-yard pass from Lucas Beatty to Earnest Harmon to make it 28-21.

The Bulldogs then went up 35-21 on a 1-yard run by Juanne Blount, after Drew White picked up the ball from a blocked field goal attempt and returned it to the 2.

Gardner-Webb took a 45-21 lead when receiver Richard Jules hit Mike Estes on a 27-yard TD pass.

Halftime update: Charlotte 49ers 24, Gardner-Webb 24

The 49ers rallied in the second quarter and have pulled into a 24-24 tie with Gardner-Webb at halftime.

Matt Johnson hit Austin Duke on a 26-yard scoring pass with 14 seconds left to tie it. The 49ers drove 78 yards in 1 minute, 53 seconds on that final drive.

Gardner-Webb led 17-7 after the first quarter, but Charlotte cut into the lead when Johnson hit C.J. Crawford across the middle for a 17-yard scoring pass, making it 17-14 with 13:32 left in the half. After Gardner-Webb increased its lead to 24-14 on a 3-yard run by Earnest Harmon, Charlotte got a 43-yard field goal by Blake Brewer after the Bulldogs turned it over on a fumble by quarterback Lucas Beatty.

After Gardner-Webb's Jordan Day missed a 39-yard field goal, the 49ers countered with their third TD when Johnson hit Duke for his fifth touchdown of the season.

Gardner-Webb has outgained the 49ers 322-242 and has a huge advantage in time of possession, 21:23-8:37.

Beatty has completed 21 of 28 passes for 246 yards and three touchdowns. The Bulldogs' Kenny Cook has eight catches for 111 yards and two TDs. Charlotte's Johnson is l1 of 19 for 140 yards and two touchdowns. He's also run for 40 yards. Kalif Phillips leads 49ers rushers with 42 yards on five carries and a touchdown.

1st quarter update: Gardner-Webb 17, Charlotte 49ers 7

Lucas Beatty has thrown two touchdown passes to Kenny Cook, helping Gardner-Webb take a 17-7 lead over the Charlotte 49ers after one quarter.

Beatty and Cook hooked up scoring passes of 3 and 20 yards as the Bulldogs have scored on all three of their possessions. Jordan Day's 22-yard field goal gave Gardner-Webb its other points.

The 49ers got on the scoreboard on a 6-yard run by Kalif Phillips. That capped a drive of 63 yards on six plays after Charlotte had gone three-and-out on its first two possessions for a total of 3 yards.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Charlotte 49ers helmets to honor military

-- The game ball for Saturday's Charlotte-Gardner-Webb football game will arrive after being carried in a 60-mile relay from Gardner-Webb's Boiling Springs campus 60 miles west of Charlotte by members of both schools' ROTC. The 49ers will also recognize Military Appreciation Day with a special helmet design.

-- Former 49ers women's soccer star Hailey Beam, who was to have had her jersey retired Friday, will be honored at halftime of the football game. 

-- Charlotte’s men's soccer team is on another lengthy road trip and this time they face perhaps their toughest test of the season. The 49ers (4-3-2, 0-1-1) are in Albuquerque, N.M., to face New Mexico (5-3-1, 1-0) in a Conference USA match. The Lobos are one of three teams – along with South Carolina and Kentucky – that have an associate membership for soccer in Conference USA. Charlotte has already played at Denver and travels to Tulsa next week.

-- Junior point guard Pierria Henry is the 49ers' representative on Conference USA's preseason watch list. Henry is the 49ers' leading returning starter (10.2 ppg) and was among the nation's steals leaders for a second consecutive season.

-- Charlotte's volleyball team plays its first two C-USA home matches this weekend against Louisiana Tech at 7 p.m. Friday and Tulane at 1 p.m. Sunday. The 49ers (10-7, 0-2) dropped their first two conferences matches last weekend at Florida International and Florida Atlantic.

Read more here:

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Final: 49ers 45, Presbyterian 21

CLINTON, S.C. -- The Charlotte 49ers snapped a two-game losing streak, spotting Presbyterian an early lead but then cruising to a 45-21 victory Saturday against the Blue Hose at Bailey Memorial Stadium.

After trailing 14-7 late in the first quarter, the 49ers (3-2) shut down the Big South's Blue Hose the rest of the way, scoring 38 consecutive points and setting up a game against 25th-ranked Gardner-Webb next Saturday at Richardson Stadium.

The 49ers, who entered the game leading the FCS in turnovers forced, intercepted Blue Hose quarterback Kaleb Griffin twice. But unlike a week ago when Charlotte was unable to convert four of James Madison’s five turnovers into points, the 49ers capitalized both times against the Blue Hose (1-3).

The 49ers got strong performances from running backs Alan Barnwell (88 yards and a touchdown) and Kalif Phillips (79 yards, two TDs). Quarterback Matt Johnson completed 15 of 24 yards for 269 yards and three touchdowns.

3rd quarter: 49ers 42, Presbyterian 14

The 49ers increased their lead to 42-14 after three quarters.

Two interceptions by the 49ers -- coming from Desmond Cooper and Tank Norman -- resulted in two touchdowns. Cooper picked off Presbyterian quarterback Kaleb Griffin on the second play of the half and the 49ers capitalized quickly with a 23-yard scoring pass from Matt Johnson to Trent Bostick.

Later in the quarter, Charlotte's Norman intercepted Griffin at the Blue Hose 43. The 49ers needed eight plays to score, with Kalif Phillips scoring from 7 yards.

The 49ers have rolled up 414 yards in total offense.

Halftime: Charlotte 28, Presbyterian 14

The 49ers dominated the second quarter, outscoring Presbyterian 21-0 and taking a 28-14 lead at halftime.

Charlotte got a 1-yard touchdown run from Kalif Phillips, a 1-yarder from Alan Barnwell and a 53-yard scoring pass from Matt Johnson to Mikel Hunter.

The 49ers scored on three of their four possessions. The other lasted just one play when Blue Hose defensive back DaRon Dickey picked off a Johnson pass that had been deflected by defensive lineman Derrick Washington

After scoring on its first two possessions, Presbyterian came up empty on its next four. The 49ers held the Blue Hose to 68 yards in total offense in the second quarter

Charlotte has 298 yards in total offense at halftime. Johnson is 10 of 16 for 187 yards and two TDs.

1st quarter: PC 14, Charlotte 7

Presbyterian leads Charlotte 14-7 at the end of the first quarter at Bailey Memorial Stadium.

The Blue Hose took the lead with 50 seconds left in the quarter on a 1-yard run by DeMarcus Rouse. The TD was set up by a 24-yard pass from quarterback Griffin to Arthur Williams that went to the 49ers 1.

The 49ers tied it on their next possession, going 75 yards in 10 plays. The drive was capped by a 3-yard touchdown pass from Matt Johnson to Austin Duke. Running back Alan Barnwell picked up 21 yards on 5 carries during the drive.

Presbyterian had taken a 7-0 lead on a 1-yard sneak by Griffin with 6:48 left in the first quarter. The Blue Hose converted two third-downs on the drive.

Presbyterian has outgained Charlotte 120-71 in the first quarter.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Charlotte 49ers extend baseball coach Hibbs' contract

The 49ers have extended the contract of baseball coach Loren Hibbs through the 2018 season. Hibbs will begin his 22nd season with the 49ers next spring.
"I consider it a privilege to work at UNC Charlotte and have done my best to represent this institution and our athletic department in a positive manner over the years,” said Hibbs in a statement. “I appreciate the continued confidence in my ability to lead this program from (Chancellor) Dr. (Philip) Dubois, the Board of Trustees, (athletics director) Judy Rose and (associate athletics director) Darin Spease.”
Under Hibbs, the 49ers have averaged 31 victories per season and have played in the NCAA tournament five times. With 669 victories, Hibbs is Charlotte's leader in all-time victories.
Hibbs turned down an offer in June to discuss the coaching vacancy at his alma mater of Wichita State.
Hibbs is just two years away from becoming the longest tenured coach in Charlotte history.
Longest tenured coaches in Charlotte 49ers history

Floyd Kerr, Golf – 23 years (1969-92)
Penny Brawley, Women’s Tennis – 22 years (1979-2000)
Loren Hibbs, Baseball – 21 years (1992-present)
David Hall, Cross Country– 20 years (1981-2000)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

ESPN's Fowler: Charlotte 49ers' football plan 'ambitious'

ESPN's Chris Fowler spoke to the Charlotte Touchdown Club on Thursday. I caught up with him and asked him several questions for a Q&A for Friday's Observer. Among the topics was Charlotte 49ers football. Although he asked that I not quiz him on the 49ers' depth chart, he did say he knew that Charlotte was playing football now and had a few opinions on the course the program is taking.

Q. So, as a college football expert, you know that the Charlotte 49ers have a football team now, right?

Fowler: Absolutely. I’m aware that they’re a start-up and they won their first couple of games.

Q. What do you think of their plan of moving from the Football Championship Subdivision to the Football Bowl Subdivision’s Conference USA in two years?

Fowler: It’s ambitious. (GameDay) was just at the number one team in FCS, North Dakota State, and it’s a big issue for them. Do they want to build a dynasty (in FCS) or move up? Egos aside, they’re happy to be there and win championships and to stay at 63 scholarships.
But moving up, like the 49ers want to do, is a huge leap. For the prestige of the school and the egos involved, you want to be at the highest level, but you have to be prepared to take your lumps.

Q. How does the uncertainty of the college football landscape play into that?

Fowler: You don’t know what it will be like in five or 10 years. You don’t even know that Conference USA will be at the highest level if there’s going to be a split (among the current BCS leagues and other FBS leagues). Even the fact that it’s called F – “B” – S makes no sense (anymore) because we’re going to a playoff system.

So programs like Charlotte could get lost in the shuffle. That’s no disrespect: but there are just too many variables that could come into play, like full cost of attendance or pay for play. I don’t know where that’s going to put schools like Charlotte. But they have an ambitious plan, I’ll say that.

Q. Where do the 49ers fit in recruiting in the Charlotte area?

Fowler: That’s why I think it’s ambitious. So many programs make recruiting North Carolina talent crucial to their plans. And the ACC has a hard time defending their borders from the SEC. (UNC), Clemson and N.C. State really struggle protecting that turf against the SEC.

Now the 49ers step in. They’re not going to go after those kinds of players, at least not now. But they want to get a couple of them to believe in them after they’ve been offered by somebody else. They’re competing with Appalachian State and East Carolina for a certain kind of player, too. So the 49ers are trying to sell their program on a couple of different levels.

Q. What’s it like taking GameDay to a place like Fargo, N.D.?

Fowler: We expected it to be cool, but it went beyond our wildest dreams. It’s an example of a program with fans who wanted to show the world they’re as passionate and crazy about their team as anybody. And it was easier to get to, surprisingly, than places like Tuscaloosa or Eugene.

Q. How about a GameDay for Gardner-Webb at Charlotte next week?

Fowler (laughing): That could be on my list. But a lot of things would have to happen first.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Charlotte 49ers basketball gets nine national TV dates

The 49ers men's basketball schedule has been altered slightly to allow for live television coverage of Charlotte's game at Southern Mississippi. In all, nine Charlotte games will be televised nationally this season.

The 49ers' game at Southern Miss has been moved from Feb. 8 to Feb. 9 (a Sunday) so it can be shown on the CBS Sports Network at 2 p.m. The 49ers' game at Tulane, originally scheduled for Feb. 6, has been moved to Friday, Feb. 7.

All three 49ers games in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, starting against Kansas State on Nov. 21, will be on ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPN3.

The rest of Charlotte's TV schedule:

Georgia Tech, Dec. 29, Fox Sports 1.
At UTEP, Jan. 9, CBS Sports Network.
At Southern Miss, Feb. 9, CBS Sports Network
UAB, Feb. 22, Fox Sports 1
At East Carolina, Feb. 27, Fox Sports 1.
At Marshall, March 6, CBS Sports Network.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Final: JMU 34, Charlotte 49ers 7

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- James Madison's 16th-ranked Dukes wore down the Charlotte 49ers on the way to a 34-7 college football victory Saturday at Bridgeforth Stadium.

It was the second consecutive loss for the 49ers (2-2), who are in their first season of football. James Madison improved to 3-1.

The 49ers' next game is next Saturday at Presbyterian. James Madison is at Delaware.

James Madison was able to win easily, despite turning the ball over five times. The Dukes rolled to 522 yards in total offense, however and had the ball for nearly 35 minutes.

Despite taking an early 7-0 lead, the 49ers had trouble moving the ball for much of the game, gaining just 231 yards in total offense. Quarterback Matt Johnson led Charlotte in rushing with 51 yards on 21 carries and he completed 13 of 26 passes for 98 yards and an interception.

3rd quarter: JMU 27, Charlotte 7

Charlotte had chances to cut into James Madison's lead in the third quarter. Instead, the Dukes increased it to 27-7.

The 49ers forced three James Madison turnovers in the quarter -- an interception by Greg Cunningham Jr. and two fumble recoveries -- but couldn't capitalize on any of them.

In fact, Charlotte's Brandon Strupp punted five times in the quarter.

The Dukes' touchdown came on a reverse by Rashard Davis, who went around left end on a 36-yard scoring run with 5:45 left in the quarter.

Halftime: JMU 20, Charlotte 7

James Madison increased its lead to 20-7 in the second quarter, getting a 37-yard pass from Michael Birdsong to Quintin Hunter with 6:17 left in the half. The point-after kick missed.

The Dukes had gotten the ball after Charlotte's Martay Mattox fumbled taking a direct from center.

Charlotte and James Madison traded turnovers from there on out, with the 49ers' Terrance Winchester intercepting Birdsong and the Dukes' Kwe'Shon Williams intercepting Matt Johnson when receiver Austin Duke couldn't handle the pass.

James Madison's Dae'Quan Scott already has 134 yards rushing and two touchdowns. The Dukes have outgained Charlotte 321-131 in total offense. Johnson has completed 8 of 14 passes for 67 yards and leads the 49ers in rushing with 47 yards and a touchdown.

James Madison has also dominated possession, 20:13 to 9:47.

First quarter: JMU 14, Charlotte 49ers 7

The 49ers took advantage of a fumble by JMU's Coby Branch on the opening kickoff. Getting the ball at the Dukes 31, it took just two plays for the 49ers to score. Quarterback Matt Johnson hit Mikel Hunter for 23 yards over the middle, then Johnson scored on an 8-yard keeper with 14:30 still to play in the first quarter.

But James Madison came right back, getting a 9-yard touchdown run by Dae'Quan Scott to tie it 7-7.

Charlotte moved the ball on its next possession and had a first and goal at the Dukes 7. But the 49ers couldn't punch it in, with Johnson being stopped on a fourth-and-1 from the 1.

JMU then went 99 plays to take its first lead of the game. Scott bounced outside and scored from 20 yards to make it 14-7. Scott had 104 yards rushing in the first quarter.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Charlotte 49ers news, notes


-- Although Charlotte had seven turnovers against N.C. Central, the 49ers have also recovered seven fumbles and forced 12 turnovers both of which ranks first nationally.

-- Charlotte might have a disadvantage in talent Saturday, but the experience gap is wide, too. The 49ers has averaged 14.3 freshman in their starting lineup through three games, their opposition 2.7.
James Madison will probably start three redshirt freshmen and two true freshman Saturday.

-- The 49ers are getting solid production from the running back position, where redshirt freshman Alan Barnwell and true freshman Kalif Phillips are splitting time and combining for 112 yards per game. Barnwell has started all three games, and has gained 164 yards with a 5.0 per-carry average and a touchdown. Phillips has rushed for 172 yards, averaging 5.1 yards per carry and a TD. Phillips had 85 yards against N.C. Central.

-- James Madison freshman linebacker Gage Steele has one of college football’s best names.

-- If you're wondering why Nolan Corpening (a defensive back/running back from Vance High who signed with the 49ers in February) never made it to Charlotte, it's because he was arrested twice in July on several charges, including breaking and entering and felony conspiracy.

Men's soccer

-- The 49ers men's soccer team dropped out of the Soccer America and NSCAA national polls after going 0-1-1 in a tournament at Alabama-Birmingham last weekend. The 49ers (2-2-1) tied UAB 0-0 (playing with nine players against the Blazers' 10) and lost to Memphis 2-1. They play again on Saturday at home against Campbell.


-- Charlotte's volleyball team is 7-4 and won its fourth straight by beating N.C. A&T 3-0 (25-10, 25-15, 25-18) Tuesday. The 49ers play their first matches at Halton Arena this weekend in the 49er Invite against S.C. State, Tennessee State and Elon.

Women's soccer

-- The 49ers (4-2) have a home match Friday against College of Charleston before heading to Davidson on Sunday for a 6 p.m. match against the Wildcats.


-- The 49ers, off a sixth-place finish at the Topy Cup in Japan, play in the Rees Jones Collegiate at Daufuskie Island, S.C.,  Sunday through Tuesday.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Final: NC Central 40, Charlotte 49ers 13

N.C. Central welcomed the Charlotte back to earth with a 40-13 college football victory Saturday against the 49ers at Richardson Stadium.

In losing for the first time in their inaugural season, the 49ers (2-1) gave the Eagles (2-1) plenty of help, turning the ball over seven times (five coming on interceptions thrown by quarterback Matt Johnson).

Charlotte, which trailed 13-0 at halftime, lost any chance of a comeback when N.C. Central’s Adrian Wilkins returned the second-half kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown.

It doesn’t get any easier – in fact, it becomes far tougher – for the 49ers next Saturday when they travel to Harrisonburg, Va., to play 17th-ranked James Madison.

The 49ers did themselves no favors against the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s Eagles, a program playing its fourth season in the Football Championship Subdivision.

Johnson, who feasted on the defenses of nonscholarship Campbell and Division II Chowan, completed 35-of-52 passes for 335 yards. But Charlotte couldn’t overcome those five interceptions. The 49ers’ special teams allowed Wilkins return for a TD to open the second half, had a field goal blocked and missed an extra point.

And, with the score still close in the first half, Eagles quarterback Jordan Reid was able to escape trouble on several occasions to keep N.C. Central drives alive.

3rd quarter: N.C. Central 33, Charlotte 0

N.C. Central broke the game open in the third quarter, taking a cue from 100-yard kickoff return to open the second half by Adrian Wilkins that made it 20-0.

The Eagles' lead is 33-0 at the end of the period.

N.C. Central followed Wilkins' TD with a 48-yard interception for a touchdown by Tony Williams. Charlotte blocked the extra point attempt, and it was 26-0.

The Eagles scored their third TD of the period on a 2-yard run by Idreis Augustine.

Halftime: N.C. Central 13, Charlotte 0

N.C. Central extended its lead to 13-0 at halftime, thanks to a 4-yard run by Deyonta Wright with 2:24 left in the half.

Wright's TD came after Charlotte quarterback Matt Johnson threw his second interception of the game. The 49ers have three turnovers, with the Eagles scoring 10 points as a result.

The 49ers have been able to move the ball, outgaining Central 219-185 in total yards, but the three turnovers have been costly. The Eagles have also lost two fumbles.

Johnson is 19 of 31 for 161 yards and two interceptions. Kalif Phillips (26 yards) and Alan Barnwell (25 yards) have been effective at times running the ball.

1st quarter:N.C. Central 6, Charlotte 0

N.C. Central is leading the Charotte 49ers 6-0 after one quarter, thanks to two Oleg Parent field goals.

After Parent's first field goal (a 36 yarder), the 49ers had a chance to tie it, but a field goal attempt by Blake Brewer was blocked.

After an Eagles fumble, Charlotte quarterback Matt Johnson fumbled right back. N.C. Central's Demontray Ryland picked it up and returned it to the 49ers 4. Central couldn't punch it in, though, and Parent's second field goal gave the Eagles their 6-0 lead.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Final: Charlotte 49ers 47, Chowan 7

Quarterback Matt Johnson threw five touchdown passes, leading the Charlotte 49ers to a 47-7 victory against Chowan on Saturday at Richardson Stadium.

Johnson, a redshirt freshman from Newton, completed 23 of 30 passes for 256 yards, with touchdown strikes of  7 and 10 yards to Austin Duke, a 30-yarder to Trent Bostick, a 40-yarder to Kalif Phillips and an 11-yarder to Corey Nesmith Jr.

With two victories over outmatched opponents so far, the startup 49ers (2-0) will face their stiffest competition of the season next week when they play host to N.C. Central, a team from the Football Championship Subdivision's Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

As they did in a season-opening victory last week against Campbell, the 49ers had little trouble with Division II Chowan. With Johnson leading the way, Charlotte led 19-0 after one quarter, then took a 26-7 lead into halftime.

The game was played before an announced crowd of 16,598.

The 49ers had three interceptions and recovered two fumbles by the Hawks (0-1). Charlotte outgained Chowan 464-199.

Third quarter: Charlotte 49ers 40, Chowan 7

The 49ers got two more touchdowns in the third quarter and continue to dominate Chowan 40-7. Matt Johnson hit Trent Bostick on a 30-yard scoring pass with 1:44 left in the period and followed that with a 7-yarder to Austin Duke with eight seconds remaining.

Charlotte has outgained the Hawks 402-136.

Halftime: Charlotte 26, Chowan 7

Charlotte got a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown from Mikel Hunter in the second quarter and leads Chowan 26-7 at halftime.

Hunter's return came after the Hawks had scored on a 35-yard touchdown pass from Cameron Stover to Antjuan Randall.

The 49ers continue to dominate the stats, as well. Charlotte has outgained Chowan 283-99. 49ers quarterback Matt Johnson is 17 of 21 for 197 yards and two touchdowns. Alan Barnwell has rushed for 56 yards on 11 carries.

1st quarter: Charlotte 49ers 19, Chowan 0

Matt Johnson has thrown for two touchdowns and the Charlotte 49ers recorded the first safety in school history as they have taken a 19-0 lead against Chowan after one quarter.

Johnson hit Austin Duke on a 10-yarder and Kalif Phillips for a 40-yard score as Charlotte outgained the Division II Hawks 233-17 in the opening period.

Johnson was 14 of 16 for 179 yards and those two TDs in the first quarter.

Blake Brewer also had a 27-yard field goal for Charlotte.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Single-game tickets available for Charlotte 49ers-Chowan game

-- About 200 general admission tickets remained on sale Friday afternoon for Charlotte's football game Saturday against Chowan.

Students have taken about 7,000 of the 7,500 allotted to them, which triggered the availability of single-game tickets for the game. Last week, students used all of their allotment (forcing a lottery) and no tickets for the public were available.

-- The 49ers will have several recruits at the Chowan game, including five who have already given verbal commitments: offensive lineman Chris Brown of Vance, offensive lineman Jean Luc Cerza-Lanaux (Charlotte Christian), wide receiver Kofa Workpeh (Independence), defensive back Emmanuel Moseley (Greensboro Dudley) and running back Maetron Thomas (Stockbridge, Ga.). Sean Smith, two-star tight end from Summerville, Ga., and Monroe High Tre'Shun Wynn

-- Charlotte's golf team heads Saturday to Japan, where the 49ers will play in the Topy Cup next week. The 12-team tournament in Tanagura includes eight teams from colleges in Japan and four from the United States -- Charlotte, UAB, TCU and Washington. The 49ers had a six-round qualifying tournament to determine which players would make the trip: Franco Castro, Thomas Rowland, Daniel Brantley, Dan Hendry and Seth Gandy made it. Raoul Menard, a two-time Atlantic 10 medalist, didn't make it.

-- Both 49ers soccer teams are on the road this weekend. The 16th-ranked men (1-1) play at 11th-ranked Coastal Carolina on Friday, while the women (3-0) are at Virginia Tech on Friday and at Western Carolina on Sunday.

-- Charlotte's men's soccer game against Old Dominion on Oct. 9 at Transamerica Field will be televised nationally by the Fox Sports Network.



Saturday, August 31, 2013

Final: Charlotte 49ers 52, Campbell 7

The Charlotte 49ers opened their new era of college football by pounding Campbell 52-7 Saturday before a sold-out crowd at Richardson Stadium.

Playing the first game in school history, the 49ers made sure there was never any doubt in the outcome, with linebacker Mark Hogan intercepting a pass and returning it 32 yards for a touchdown on the Camels' second play of the game.

Charlotte, playing as NCAA Football Championship Subdivision independent this season, then scored on its first offensive possession when redshirt freshman Justin Bolus caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Matt Johnson.

Charlotte rolled up 488 yards in total offense (211 rushing, 277 passing).

The non-scholarship Camels (who play in the FCS Pioneer League) had four turnovers.

Johnson, who was spelled in the second half by backups Lee McNeill and Patrick O'Brien, completed 19 of 29 passes for 282 yards and three touchdowns.

A crowd of standing-room-only crowd of 16,660 watched the game in Charlotte's new stadium, which has a listed capacity of 15,314 seats.

The 49ers are home again next week against Chowan, an NCAA Division II team that plays in the CIAA. It will be the Hawks' first game of the season.